|Posted by Danny Nutt on May 30, 2019 at 11:20 AM|
It feels like summer has arrived today and it's half term, hoorah! And despite the usual connotations with warm weather: getting your shorts on, BBQ's, sunbathing, etc. this is the perfect opportunity to get your kids away from the telly, thier tablets and PS4's and get them outdoors.
The other day I had a lovely time with my kids cycling. We went through two local parks, had a picnic, had fun in the playground, bought some bird feed and fed the ducks, then raced back home and felt great!
And it really doesn't have to cost you anything to get outdoors. Wherever you are there will either be a local park, playground or the countryside.
Me and my family and friends also had a wonderful May Bank Holiday weekend camping in a forest in Dorset. When you spend longer than a few hours outdoors in that kind of environment, your inner clock slows down, the kids have so much freedom and you really get in tune with nature.
In an age where I see toddlers in their pushchairs glued to Peppa Pig on their mums' smartphones and people literaly wasting their free time on the tube mindleslley flicking through Instagram, getting outdoors is one the best antidodes to the modern, information based world. You'll feel calmer, more energised and believe me, happier.
We also love performing our parties outdoors and during one I ran last week in a beautful garden in Hertfordshire, I could see pure joy in the kids' faces as they felt so relaxed and free.
So what are you waiting for? Get off Facebook! Put your phone down and get outdoors, even for a walk! You'll feel so much better...
|Posted by Danny Nutt on May 2, 2019 at 11:15 AM|
There's been a lot of press coverage recently about Climate Change. This is now a real and present danger to the future of our planet and it's time for us all to do our bit so we can (literally) save our planet.
Recently, a client asked me which plastic and other products we use as she was conscious about plastic waste and wanted to teach her daughter to try and avoid plastic where possible. This is generally so difficult as so much that we consume generally include plastic! I reassured her that the main plastic we use are toy gold medals we give out as prizes for each birthday child. Apart from that, any paper etc we use at our Arts and Crafts parties, we always make the effort to recycle. We don't use balloons, we're fazing out glitter (also for the Arts and Crafts parties) and yes, we give out sweets that are wrapped in plastic film, but that's sadly the case with all sweets nowadays. And for hygiene purposes, this is better than individual, unwrapped sweets.
We're trying the best we can at the moment and we can certainly do more. But until the big companies start making their packaging recyclable and/or compostable, it's going to be tricky.
If you have any ideas on how else we can be more environmentally friendly, please do let us know!
|Posted by Danny Nutt on April 18, 2019 at 3:00 AM|
What a welcome relief, I imagine, that we are now embarking on a four day break. And whatever your religious beliefs, having a long weekend with your family is always an attractive prospect.
For those of us lucky enough to get away, whether it's somewhere hot like a beach in the South of France or the outer echelons of the North Yorkshire moors, no doubt you will have plenty of activtiies to do with the kids.
But what if you're just staying at home? Have you thought of how you're going to fill the four full days?
Well if you're stuck for ideas how about firstly finding a brilliant, unique locaton for an easter egg hunt? Like one of the many 'wild' parks in London? Streatham Common? Hampstead Heath? Putney Heath? Or perhaps you could head to the countryside?
The other thing you could do is hard boil some eggs, get your paintbrushes out and paint some lovely, colourful designs on them.
Finally, kids love colouring in and there are plenty of free colouring in sheets of Easter bunnies, Easter eggs, daffodils and more available online.
I hope you've now got some ideas for the long weekend ahead and I'd like to wish you all a very Happy Easter!
|Posted by Danny Nutt on March 27, 2019 at 10:40 AM|
People love stories, don’t we? Whether it’s from a colleague relaying a situation with a tricky client, a family member recalling an embarrassing episode as a child for your amusement, or a novel. Stories can excite, inform, educate and enlighten us.
But what makes a really good story? Well this is difficult to answer in a few words and is a fairly subjective area. But for me, it has to have a strong leading character that is heroic, attractive, but also has flaws; an exciting plot; a moment when everything could go terribly wrong; a nasty character and a positive conclusion.
Here at Nutty’s, we pride ourselves on stories. It’s what drives our Adventure Parties. It’s the beating heart, the motor that carries our entertainers along and the hook that keeps the kids in the palm of our hands. And seeing the little faces engrossed and hanging on our every word really fills us with joy and pride. Ultimately, stories are a shared experience, especially at our parties. We ask the kids questions within the storytelling sections and invite volunteers to act bits out. And in real life, when we’re sharing stories with our family and friends over the dinner table, seeing and hearing their reactions help us to make sense of our own stories. We may think we have behaved in a certain way when we relay our tale, but the listener’s reaction may make us re-evaluate. So it’s as much about learning about yourself as it is learning from a story- even with fictional stories. How we react to a character’s actions may make us question how we would deal with a similar situation in real life.
We have so much to gain from stories. We as humans have been telling them for thousands of years. And now more than ever, in the age of screens at our fingertips, it’s so important to keep telling our kids stories and encouraging them to read more. It’s also invaluable to inspire them to write their own stories, to put their imaginations to good use and to entertain us too. They’ll enjoy seeing our reactions as much as we do the other way around! So keep telling stories, keep reading them and keep championing them. They’ll never go away and we will always have several new stories tell from our many experiences, throughout our lives.
|Posted by Danny Nutt on March 22, 2019 at 9:20 AM|
What a long and turbulent winter we’ve had! And what with the short days and low temperatures, it’s no wonder we’ve spent so much of the last few months indoors with our children.
But now the days are getting longer, the winter coats are making less of an appearance and the temperatures across the UK are in double figures, it’s definitely more tempting to get outdoors and appreciate nature.
For those of us who live in London, for example, this basically means venturing out to the local park. And if you’re lucky enough to live close to what I would call the ‘wild parks’ where it really does fell like you’re suddenly in the countryside (for example, Hampstead Heath, Putney Heath, Streatham Common etc.) then you really are in for a treat.
Streatham Common, where I live close to, is a wonderful park that has an enclosed woods, great views of Surrey and the big highlight is the haven that is The Rookery. It contains a sun dial, wishing well, ponds with gold fish, exotic plants and beautiful flowers. I love taking my wife and kids there to clear our heads sometimes- away from the daily grind in the big city.
Also, getting further afield to the seaside or the proper countryside for us Londoners isn’t as tricky as you might think. From South London you can get to some wonderful spots in Surrey in around an hour in the car, or an hour and a half to Brighton. If you live in East London you can get to Whitstable and enjoy some Oysters in less than hour.
During these stressful, hard-working times we’re in where so much of what we do is governed by our phones and screens, getting outdoors really is a wonderful way to let off steam and allow our kids to roam free.
So get outdoors and enjoy nature! t’s really not that far away. And even if it’s raining, pack the wellies and the waterproofs- the kids will love jumping in muddy puddles!
|Posted by Danny Nutt on March 13, 2019 at 1:10 PM|
Isn’t it amazing how powerful music can be? It can change our mood dramatically, it can soothe, excite, annoy and comfort us. It can also transport us to another time, a significant memory all the way back to our childhood.
Personally, as I am also a DJ, I take music very seriously. I listen to all kinds of music at any given opportunity, read about it, search for it, think and talk about it. I listen to it at the breakfast table with the kids, on the tube, even when I’m in the bath I have something on in the background.
I also believe there is only really two kinds of music- good music and bad music. Whether it’s hip-hop, funk, disco, house, reggae, even classical music, there is so much discover- and so much to avoid.
And it’s always a joy to see my kids getting in to artists and bands that I love, with a little help from me of course: The Beach Boys, The Beatles, David Bowie, Gil Scott-Heron, Aretha Franklin, Paul Weller, Stevie Wonder, the list goes on…
So the next time you want to really get in to one of your favourite bands, make sure your kids are around to listen in. Tell them an interesting fact about the album, show them the record sleeve or CD cover (if you don’t own vinyl or CD’s then you’re not REALLY in to music in my view!) and allow them to see how much they can appreciate the artwork and the hard work behind the creation.
Music really is a wonderful, rich and varied art form. So let’s celebrate it!